Dental News

Top 4 Causes of Bad Breath and How to Fight Them

July 27, 2015

Banish bad breath with help from your dentist.

Top 4 Causes of Bad Breath and How to Fight ThemDo you feel self-conscious about your breath? Are you worried that it might embarrass you in front of a friend, business colleague, client, or romantic partner? Check to see if you may be suffering from one of these 4 causes of bad breath and then follow our tips for eliminating bad breath.


Smoking is a common cause of bad breath. Not only does the smoke itself have a foul odor; smoking actually encourages the growth of bad-smelling bacteria in the mouth. Plus, smoking can also stain teeth and cause complications with recovery if you ever need an oral surgery such as a tooth extraction or dental implant. So you see there are many convincing oral health reasons to give up smoking besides just bad breath!


Obviously, some pungent foods and drinks are going to leave an odor on your breath after you partake. Common examples include coffee and garlic. Even when the foods you eat are not particularly stinky in and of themselves, they have the potential to cause bad breath because any bits of food that get stuck between teeth are essentially going to be rotting in your mouth if you don’t remove them promptly.


If you don’t normally have bad breath but suddenly notice a problem, you could be suffering from a throat or sinus infection. Certain viruses related to these kinds of infections can cause odors, which are often confused with ordinary bad breath. Check to see if you have a sore throat, swollen tonsils, or cold symptoms before you reach for the mouthwash to cure your bad breath. You could need antibiotics instead.

Dental Issues

If you find that bad breath odors come back after brushing even if you haven’t eaten anything new, it’s possible you may have a dental health issue. You could have an abscessed tooth, a gum disease infection, a major cavity, or just bad oral hygiene in general. Any of these issues could cause bad breath by providing an environment where oral bacteria can thrive and produce unpleasant odors.

What To Do About Bad Breath

Depending on what is causing your bad breath, you may have several ways of dealing with the problem:

  • Masking the odor
  • Giving up habits that cause bad breath
  • Getting treatment for medical causes of bad breath
  • Improving your oral health

At California Dental Group, we can help you implement this last strategy. Our caring dentists can provide treatment for any dental issues you may have, such as an abscessed tooth. We can also provide advice about ways to improve your oral hygiene at home, such as better brushing and flossing strategies. We often advise patients who are especially worried about bad breath to brush their tongues or use a tongue scraper. After all, plenty of oral bacteria take up residence on the tongue and you can’t afford to overlook them when waging a battle against bad breath.

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